MASON, W.Va. — The Mason County Community Foundation held its fall grants awards reception on Thursday night at the Riverside Golf Club in Mason, W.Va. with former Marshall University basketball standout and head coach, Greg White, as the keynote speaker.
White, who grew up Mullens, W.Va., played basketball at Marshall and is a member of the Marshall University Hall of Fame. Along with being the head coach at Marshall, White was an assistant coach for the UCLA Bruins under head coach John Wooden.
White is a motivational speaker in athletics and the business world. On Thursday evening, he gave a speech titled “The Winning Edge.”
White told the audience that his mother always said to him, “You can go where you want to go, you can be who you want to be, if you’ll just do what you’re supposed to do.”
He took that advice each time he was cut from the basketball teams in primary school. White said you have to work for what you want.
“Three frogs are sitting on a log. One decides to jump. How many frogs are left on the log?” White asked. “Some of you would say two, but the correct answer is three. Making the decision to jump and jumping are two entirely different things.”
White described that there are many types of people in the world in terms of their actions.
“I’ve always been amazed at how many different type of people there are. Some people are like wheelbarrows — you’ve got to push them or they don’t go anywhere. Others are like kites — you’ve got to hold their string or they’ll fly away. Some are like neon lights — they flash on and off. Some are like canoes — they need to be paddled. Some are like butterflies — they’re beautiful and they just float from here to here and to here. Others are like footballs — you drop them and you never know which way they’re going to bounce. And then there are those like basketballs — they bounce all over the place. Then of course there are those like the stock market — they go up and the next day they’re down. Then there are those that are like good watches—pure gold, open faced, quietly busy and full of good works. Which are you?” White asked.
In his presentation, White listed the five “C’s” of competitive greatness — communication, costume, character, challenge, and choices.
Focusing on the five “C’s” include listening, dressing for success, showing respect to everyone, setting goals and making the choices to work toward them.
“Be at your best when your best is needed,” White said.
In conclusion, White told the audience there are many ways to find temporary happiness, but for a lifetime of happiness, you have to help people.
“It’s never a perfect day unless you help someone who will never have the opportunity to pay you back,” White said.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.